Fergus McCreadie


With millions of streams for his personal brand of nature-inspired music, jazz pianist Fergus McCreadie is a fast-rising star in the musical firmament. Not that the 2022-24 BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist – the only non-classical artist in the current cohort – would describe himself as such. Rather, for this self-effacing artist, success is simply having the freedom to explore and develop his unique world of jazz-inflected sound, on occasions shot through with echoes of Scottish folk melodies, a clue to his roots.

Born and raised in Scotland, McCreadie, 26, began playing the piano aged seven, working through the traditional grades. However, at 12 his musical world was turned upside down when he attended his first jazz concert and masterclass by the renowned Scottish jazz musician and educator Richard Michael. This set McCreadie on the path to discovering jazz, a path that led him to winning the under-17 category of the Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year in 2013 and 2014 and, aged 16, entering the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. While there, he won the Guy Barker Award and formed the McCreadie Trio which will shortly celebrate its 10th anniversary, a decade that has brought it and McCreadie massive recognition.

Released on Edition Records to instant critical acclaim, McCreadie's 2022 trio album Forest Floor catapulted the artist into the international spotlight. Topping the UK Jazz & Blues charts, it prompted sold-out performances across the UK and praise from BBC 6Music, The Times and NME. It also earned McCreadie a 2022 Mercury Prize shortlist nomination, the 2022 Jazz FM Instrumentalist of the Year Award and the 2022 Scottish Album of the Year Award, making McCreadie the first jazz artist ever to win the prize. Forest Floor is one of three nature-inspired releases by McCreadie, the others being Cairn (2021) and, slated for release this May, Stream, a journey through the rich landscapes of Scottish folklore and the sophisticated avenues of contemporary jazz, both blended seamlessly.

Away from the studio, McCreadie is a busy performer across the UK and Europe, both with the McCreadie Trio and others including corto.alto, as well as playing solo, an experience this freedom-loving artist finds hugely liberating. Throughout, his constant companions are the Yamaha pianos he plays, instruments he prizes for their consistency of touch, feel and tone and which, he says, enable him to express and project his innermost musical thoughts.